“Money talks, wealth whispers” – according to the old staying, and this is the best way to sum up “old money style”. While new money can be loud and ostentatious, old money is understated and discreet. Reader Kathryn suggested we write an article on this topic. In this article, we explore exactly what old money style is, and how to get an old money aesthetic for less.

Old money style, once the exclusive domain of the world’s elite, has captured the attention of a new audience, with #oldmoneystyle trending on social media platforms. So, it’s the perfect time be inspired by how old money outfits.

What is old money style?

Old money refers to those who have had substantial wealth in their family for generations. Think of legendary families like the Vanderbilts, Gettys and Rothschilds. In style terms, it’s about a refined elegance that evokes wealth without having to say it. The opposite is “new money style” where obvious labels are worn.

How to recognize old money style?

It’s someone who looks incredibly groomed and put together but in a very easy, elegant way. Timeless elegance is prioritized over short-lived fashion trends. This woman knows how to carry herself and has an air of ‘old money’ about her. The good news is that you don’t have to be rich to achieve this style and can achieve it on any budget if you pay attention to the right materials and the perfect fit.

Old money style essentials

So, what are some of the essentials you should invest in to get an old money look? We’d start with a perfectly fitting jacket, silk and cotton shirts, classic pants and straight jeans, pencil or a-line skirts, cardigans, polo shirts, loafers, ballet flats, riding boots, slim leather belts, silk scarves, headbands, and square or Catseye sunglasses.

Tips for achieving an old-money aesthetic

Read on to see an old money capsule wardrobe we’ve put together for you. But first, here are some top tips for creating your old-money outfits.

1. stick to classic, timeless style

Old money style doesn’t follow fashion trends. It’s about choosing timeless clothes, shoes and accessories that you can wear year after year.

The ultimate old money style guide: What is it and how to get old money style without an old money budget | 40plusstyle.com

Sylvia @sylviacolella above (read her style interview here) opts for a classic, neutral outfit that evokes old money style.

Get her look with this similar sweater, pants, coat (another option here), loafers, handbag, belt, earrings and sunglasses.

2. you don’t have to spend money to look like old money

Of course, you can opt for designer options. Because old money style is timeless, you’ll get lots of wear from your investments. But you don’t have to. It’s about an aesthetic rather than how much you spend. Below, we’ve put together designer outfits with purse-friendly options.

3. don’t follow fashion

We’re not saying don’t keep an eye on fashion trends. But, an old money style isn’t too ‘trendy’ and of the moment. It’s a style that could be worn for many years.

4. think groomed and glossy

You won’t see old money style with garish nail colors, nor will you see unkept nails. From top to toe, think groomed and put together.

5. choose neutral colors

You won’t see old money wearing bright colors. Instead, look for neutral shades like navy, tan, white, cream, gray, and black.

Kim in dress, blazer and heels | 40plusstyle.com

Kim @kimair above (read her style interview here) chooses a well-fitting blazer and white dress.

Recreate her outfit with this similar dress (another option here), blazer (another option here), sandals, handbag (another option here), earrings and sunglasses.

6. keep your hairstyle and color subtle and natural

The same goes for your hair as for your outfits. Think natural and subtle. Rather than very trendy cuts and colors, think waves, classic bobs, and elegant chignons.

7. choose natural materials

Old money chooses natural materials like linen, cotton, cashmere, silk, and wool rather than wearing synthetics.

8. get a great tailor

Old money isn’t usually tight-fitting, but it is well-fitting. Invest in quality clothes, and ensure they look made to measure by finding a great tailor.

9. look for well-made clothes

The little details make a big difference. You don’t have to wear designer items, but make sure your clothes are well-made. Check the lining, seams, and stitching for quality.

10. Get inspiration from similar style types

There are a lot of similarities between the classic style personality and preppy style. So, you can take a look for inspiration.

11. Your jewelry is subtle

Choose subtle jewelry like stud earrings or small drop earrings with thin gold chains rather than big statement necklaces.

Jamie in blazer, jeans, loafers and scarf | 40plusstyle.com

Jamie @moreturquoise above (read her style interview here) mixes elements of old money style with her blazer, scarf, sunglasses and timeless hairstyle, with trendier elements.

Check out this similar blazer (another option here), jeans, loafers (another option here), bag (another option here), earrings, scarf and sunglasses (another option here).

OLD Money brands

These designers are the perfect place to start if you want to invest in your old-money outfits.

For old money style on a budget

Celebrities with an old-money aesthetic

If you’re looking for old money inspiration, which celebrities can you take a look at? Gwyneth Paltrow dresses old money in real life and in movies like The Talented Mr. Ripley. Other celebrities with old money style include the Princess of Wales, Meghan Markle, and Victoria Beckham.

Old money outfits

Now, let’s move on to some specific old-money outfits you can choose. You’ll find one designer choice and a budget-friendly option. Take a look and see if you can spot the difference.

blazers and chinos

No old money wardrobe is complete without a well-fitting blazer and a great pair of chinos. Add a slim belt, gold watch and slingbacks.

Blazer and chinos outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Polo Ralph Lauren Double-Knit One-Button BlazerCareste Melissa ShirtHelmut Lang Stretch Wool-Blend Boot-Cut PantsValentino Garavani VLOGO Raffia Pointed Toe Slingback PumpLoro Piana Bale Leather Tote BagLOEWE Graphic Logo Leather BeltFERRAGAMO Soft Square IP Yellow Gold Stainless Steel Bracelet WatchMikimoto 18K Yellow Gold, 0.02 TCW Diamond & Akoya Cultured Pearl Pendant Necklace

On a budget: J.Crew Wool-Blend Blazer JacketBoden Sienna Silk ShirtJ.Crew Kate Straight-Leg PantSam Edelman Terra Block HeelsMadewell The Transport Bucket BagJ.Crew Skinny Italian Leather BeltTory Burch The Miller Braceletkate spade new york Goldtone & Imitation Pearl Pendant Necklace

Sweater and wide leg pants

A cable knit sweater is an old-money classic. Look for a cable knit that is quite fine rather than a trendy chunky knit. Regarding your pant style, you’re looking for straight, wide, or bootcuts rather than cuts that are too trendy. Add a pair of neutral loafers.

Cable knit sweater and white pants outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Polo Ralph Lauren Julianna Cable-Knit Wool & Cashmere SweaterZimmermann August Wide-Leg PantsPollini Sacchetto Leather LoafersLoro Piana Bale Leather Tote BagKatey Walker 18K Yellow Gold, Pearl & 0.50 TCW Diamond Tuck Stud Earrings

On a budget: J.Crew Cashmere Cable-Knit SweaterLimited-edition Anna October© X J.Crew TrouserSam Edelman Loraine LoaferMadewell The Transport Bucket BagShashi 14K Gold-Plate, Cubic Zirconia & Pearl Drop Earrings

Rollneck sweater and pleated skirt

A roll-neck sweater is perfect with straight jeans, wide pants, or a pleated skirt. Add a pair of knee-high boots under your skirt.

Turtle neck sweater and pleated skirt outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Polo Ralph Lauren Wool Turtleneck SweaterPolo Ralph Lauren Pleated A-Line Midi-SkirtStuart Weitzman Yuliana Suede Knee-High BootLoro Piana Bale Leather Tote BagKatey Walker 18K Yellow Gold, Pearl & 0.50 TCW Diamond Tuck Stud Earrings

On a budget: J.Crew Relaxed Turtleneck SweaterJ.Crew Pleated SkirtAnne Klein Wei Mid Calf BootMadewell The Transport Bucket BagShashi 14K Gold-Plate, Cubic Zirconia & Pearl Drop Earrings

Silk dress and Chanel-style blazer

Chanel’s cardigan-style blazer has inspired countless designers and high-street stores. Wear with everything from your jeans and pants to your favorite little black or little white dress. Add classic pumps and a pair of gold or pearl stud earrings.

Black blazer and white dress outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Generation Love Selma Chain CardiganRalph Lauren Collection Berke Tailored Linen & Silk DressPollini Suede-Leather Ballet PumpsJil Sander Large Giro Leather Tote BagDavid Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud EarringsFERRAGAMO Soft Square IP Yellow Gold Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

On a budget: J.Crew Collection Italian Wool-Blend Bouclé Cropped Lady JacketEverlane The City Stripe Midi DressCalvin Klein Gabrianna PumpMadewell The Essential Bucket ToteBrook and York Parker Knot Stud EarringsTory Burch The Miller Bracelet

Satin skirt and a crisp white shirt

A white shirt goes with everything. It’s perfect for ‘toning down’ an outfit to make it look as if you haven’t tried too hard but still look fabulous. You’ll see that Meghan Markle wears a white shirt with many outfits.

White shirt and satin skirt outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Alexander Wang Cinched-Waist Knit-Combo ShirtJason Wu Crinkled Satin Midi-SkirtValentino Garavani VLOGO Raffia Pointed Toe Slingback PumpL’alingi Feather Top Handle BagDavid Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings

On a budget: J.Crew Poplin Garçon ShirtZeagoo Satin Midi SkirtSam Edelman Terra Block HeelsCult Gaia Gia Ostrich Feather Shoulder BagBrook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings

classic trouser suit – old money style

You won’t find an old money wardrobe without an excellent trouser suit. Choose neutral shades or soft colors like pale blue rather than anything too bright. You can dress your pantsuit up or down and wear the pants and jacket as separates to create many different looks.

Blue suit outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Ralph Lauren Collection Camden Double-Breasted BlazerGeneration Love Lori Crystal Strap CamiRalph Lauren Collection Evanne Pleated Wool PantsPollini Suede-Leather Ballet PumpsFERRAGAMO Charming Linen & Leather Tote BagKatey Walker 18K Yellow Gold, Pearl & 0.50 TCW Diamond Tuck Stud Earrings

On a budget: Boden The Marylebone Wool BlazerBoden Silk Cami TopBoden Westbourne Wool PantsCalvin Klein Gabrianna PumpMarc Jacobs Mini Grind Satchel BagShashi 14K Gold-Plate, Cubic Zirconia & Pearl Drop Earrings

Stripe shirt and jeans

When it comes to your outerwear, old money wardrobes always have a classic trench coat as well as a long wool coat (one of those later!). Wear over your striped shirt and straight fit jeans. Dress up with heeled pumps or down with flat loafers.

Trench coat and jeans outfit | 40plusstyle.com

TWP Last Night Cotton-Blend Trench CoatFRAME Striped Cotton ShirtAlexander McQueen High-Rise Wide-Leg Denim JeansPollini Sacchetto Leather LoafersFERRAGAMO Charming Linen & Leather Tote BagDavid Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings

On a budget: J.Crew Relaxed Heritage Trench CoatJ.Crew Striped Garçon Poplin ShirtFRAME Le Slim Wide-Leg JeansSam Edelman Loraine LoaferMarc Jacobs Mini Grind Satchel BagBrook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings

Polo top and shorts (add a varsity sweater if you’re chilly)

For a ‘stealth wealth’ summer outfit, give a nod to tennis and golf wear and choose a polo shirt and mid-length shorts. Add a varsity-style sweater, either worn as you would expect or over your shoulders if you need extra warmth.

Polo shirt and shorts outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Varsity Alpaca-Blend Pullover SweaterPolo Ralph Lauren Rib-Knit Fitted Polo TopAlice + Olivia Esta Pleated Tipped ShortsSaint Laurent SL61 Grained Leather SneakersLoro Piana Tasman Canvas ToteDavid Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings

Madewell Tipped V-Neck Oversize Wool Blend SweaterLands’ End Active PoloJ.Crew 7″ Stretch Chino ShortSam Edelman Poppy SneakerAllSaints Anik Felt ToteBrook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings

Collared sweater and pencil skirt – old money style

Pencil skirts and a-line options both work with old-money outfits. Wear with your silk or white shirt, or opt for a collared sweater. Choose a long wool coat to wear over the top. Wear with toe cap shoes.

Collared sweater and pencil skirt outfit | 40plusstyle.com

Brunello Cucinelli Viscose And Virgin Wool Gabardine Coat With MoniliKhaite Shrunken Jo Polo Cashmere TopSelf-Portrait Metallic Knit Midi-SkirtStuart Weitzman Sleek Cap Toe Bow FlatDavid Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings

On a budget: Mango Handmade Oversized Wool CoatMeenew Collared SweaterJ.Crew Maritime Tweed Midi Pencil SkirtSHODENSE Cap Toe Bow Low Heel PumpMadewell The Transport Bucket BagBrook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings

Your old-money style designer capsule wardrobe

Below, you can see our designer and budget old-money style outfits together in one capsule. You can see that there are lots of different ways you could wear the individual clothes, shoes and accessories to get different looks.

Old money style capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

Shop the old money style outfits below:

Your old-money style budget capsule wardrobe

Want old-money style on a budget? We’ve got you covered!

Old money style (on a budget) capsule wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

Shop the old money style (on a budget) outfits below:

What do you think about old money style? Is this an aesthetic you already wear, or that you might add more of to your wardrobe?

Continue reading:

  1. A Capsule Wardrobe For The Classic Style Personality
  2. How To Fit A Blazer – A Comprehensive Guide On How To Select The Right Blazer
  3. The 10 Best Designer Handbags You Can Definitely Afford

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The ultimate old money style guide: What is it and how to get old money style without an old money budget | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Sylvia @sylviacolella


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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